GEMS for Grades K – 2


While clubs for early childhood students are fun and exciting, GEMS firmly believes that the most important factor in success in STEM comes from positive experiences in school and at home. Children need to see that STEM is all around them, in their lives as pervasive as oxygen.  

Exploration and discovery build confidence in girls and engaging home and school STEM experiences can strengthen their curiosity and interest so that they see themselves as scientists and mathematicians without being able to label themselves such.

Pay attention to the messages you send as a parent or teacher about girls and their roles. Are they adventurous or cautious? Are they pretty or a “problem-solver?” 

Even fashion messages are important.


 PBS Parents: Raising a Powerful Girl

Nurturing STEM Skills in Young Learners, Pre-K-3— lessons learned from successful schools

Closing the Gender Gap  A broadcast from CBS News about proactive learning in STEM

Attitudes of Young Girls Toward Intelligence  from the New York Times–attitudes matter

Building Math and Spatial Skills –a deal breaker for some students

Curiosity is key.

Family Resources

STEM Ed Anytime  A sampling of great projects for all ages

Bridging the Gender Gap  a good summary of what GEMS is working toward

Screen Time

Time on computers and tablets is a family and school decision. Commonsense Media has tips for making that important determination and understanding warning signs of too much screen time. 

Educator Resources

Why STEM is important for grades K-2 –building on early curiosity

Picture STEM  an NSF project integrating STEM and Literacy and the engineering design process

PNC’s Grow Up Great STEM Lessons and Toolkit –lessons and activities for home or early childhood classrooms

Simplifying STEM for young students — simplified activities for little ones

Computer Science and Early Childhood

Why Should K-5 Educators Teach Coding? from ISTE

CSUnplugged  Teaching Computer Science without screens  Teaching children in K-2 to code 

Building experiences are essential.

Web Resources

40 STEM Activities for kids — family and school activities

Children’s Engineering Design Briefs — Virginia’s Children’s Engineering Council is a rich resource for learning the design process

PBS Education  — a wealth of information for teachers, parents and caregivers

NASA Education — free exciting resources for little scientists and astronauts

IExplore STEM — a site to plan science festivals, with many great ideas

Fun A Day Engineering — engineering for early childhood

PBS Design Squad — wide range of videos, challenges and resources for designing and building

The struggle is also a learning experience.